Friday, January 18, 2013

Chasing the Sun

After a great holiday season, we left South Carolina on January 4th and drove down to Niceville, FL, to visit our daughter, Lynn, son-in-law, Anthony, and spend time with our two younger grandchildren, Madeleine and Dane Matthew. 
Madeleine is three, always busy, and growing up fast.

Dane Matthew is 4 1/2 and enjoying daycare especially since his sister can't go yet..

Five days later we were officially on the road and heading for Baton Rouge, LA.  The RV site suggested we call ahead to ensure the park was open since there had been a good deal of rain the last few days.  Two hours into the drive we called and found out the park was flooding and all reservations were cancelled. Hmmm----what to do.  We checked and found out the state park in Waveland, MS, was open so we headed there for a few days. 
The beach at Waveland.

The sun was trying to break through but most days it was cloudy and rainy.
This was a nice new pier that had been built after Katrina hit.

We walked on it last year.

But now it is closed and in major disrepair.
That really surprised us so we started asking around.

Turns out this damage was caused last August by Hurricane Isaac.  Waveland just can't seem to get a break.

There are some nice new homes that have been built in the past year,

but the major part of Beach Boulevard still remains undeveloped and for sale.

Private drives but no homes.

Most new homes are being built high on stilts.  Hurricane Katrina hit Waveland with a 50 foot high surge. I don't see how even these houses could survive that.

The park we stayed at is right across Beach Boulevard from the Gulf of Mexico.

This is one of the new facilities they are building. 

One of the homes of the park rangers who stay at Buccaneer State Park.  All new homes are on stilts after Katrina destroyed the park.   The only access to the living quarters is by climbing up a set of stairs on each side of the home.  How'd you like to lug your weekly groceries up those steps.
Along with walking the beach we decided to visit a local brewery in Kiln, MS, which is a few miles inland.  The Lazy Magnolia Brewery was started in 2004 a year before Katrina hit.  The owners are a young couple who both graduated from Mississippi State University.  The husband with a degree in electrical engineering and the wife with a degree in chemical engineering.  Word has it she bought him a home brewing kit and after he made the first batch she said, "I can do better than that!" and the brewery began.  I can see why they would need these degrees because the work is very complex.  The husband has improved the process by designing equipment that has improved each step and the brewery has grown.  The total operation is still quite small but they are continuing to expand.  Besides making their own beers, they also contract out and make beer for other micro breweries in Mississippi and surrounding states.  The tour cost $10 a person and they gave you samples of their beer along the way. Pretty cool! You also got a Lazy Magnolia pint glass when the tour was over.
Inside the brewery with pallets of yeast and barley.  The office is behind.  Walking was a little difficult at times. 

The tanks that the water and barley and flavorings are mixed in during the process.
The fermentation tanks where the brew is created.
The bottling station.  We were there on a Saturday so there wasn't much work going on.   
New kegs waiting to be cleaned.

One of the employees who cleans the kegs with a special process developed by the owner.

Behind this wall is a cooler that stores the full kegs of beer.

Bottled beer ready to be shipped.

Their trademark beers.  Our favorite was the Southern Pecan.

This was their signature pale ale beer named for an outdoorsman friend.  Alcohol content was 9.4%.
We found a bar in Bay St Louis that sold Lazy Magnolia beer so we had to stop there on the way back.

The Ugly Pirate was a cute little place with a small bar and only four tables to sit at. 

They had Ugly Pirate tee shirts pinned to the ceiling.

And lots of pirate stuff on the walls.

So we decided to have an "Ugly" pizza  which consisted of pepperoni, sausage, gyro meat, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, feta cheese, basil, tomato, and topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  Ummm, ummm good.
And, of course, a pint (or two) of Lazy Magnolia beer.

Who cares if it is raining outside.
Off we go, continuing our search for the sun.  Next stop, Galveston Island State Park.


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